Cape Fear High School will try to win its first-ever state dual team wrestling title and the fourth in Cumberland County history Saturday.
The Colts travel to Greensboro to face Hickory St. Stephens in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A dual team championship match at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse.
It will be one of four state championship matches held at the Fieldhouse Saturday.
Cape Fear and St. Stephens will clash for the 3-A title at 3 p.m. at the same time Uhwharrie Charter Academy and Robbinsville meet for the 1-A championship.
Competition for the other two state titles will be held at noon when Croatan and West Lincoln wrestle for the 2-A championship and Wilmington Laney and Northwest Guilford duel for the 4-A title.
Gates open for all matches at 11 a.m. and admission is $8.
It has been 35 years since Cape Fear won the only state wrestling title in school history. That was in 1984 at Winston-Salem Parkland High School when wrestling was still an unclassified sport and the dual team championships had not been created.
Cape Fear, under Mike Stanbridge, won the individual tournament team title against all the wrestling schools in the state despite not winning a single individual championship in the meet.
The dual team championship, which pits one school head-to-head against another in playoff style brackets, didn’t start until 1990.
Previous winners of the dual team title from Cumberland County were Seventy-First, coached by David Culbreth, in 1999 and 2000.
John DeWeese led Jack Britt to the dual team title in 2015.
Cape Fear and St. Stephens have not met each other in competition this year, but Colt coach Heath Wilson and his wrestlers saw the St. Stephens team in the Holy Angels tournament in Charlotte over the Christmas break that Cape Fear won.
Wilson said St. Stephens is similar to Cape Fear as it has depth throughout the lineup.
Matchups will be critical, Wilson said, as both teams attempt to avoid a situation where a loss could result in a pin and a maximum of six points for the opposing team.
He said in Thursday’s Eastern Regional final win over West Carteret, Cape Fear was able to minimize pinning situations and just give up three points in the key matches.
“It will come down to that,’’ he said. “We’ve got to wrestle like we did last night and I think we’ll win it.’’
Both teams have multiple wrestlers ranked in the top ten in TheNCMat.com rankings.
Cape Fear’s best include Triston Chapman, No. 3 at 126 pounds; Dallas Wilson, No. 1 at 138; Jeremiah Smith, No. 10 at 145; Jared Barbour, No. 1 at 170; Austin Hunt, No. 10 at 195 and Nick Minacapelli, No. 8 at 220.
St. Stephens best include Jovanny Urzua, No. 8 at 113; Graham Ormond, No. 5 at 126; Blake Baker, No. 2 at 138; De’Untae Henry, No. 5 at 152; Ivan Vengal, No. 3 at 160; Jordan Boiling, No. 10 at 170; Dakota Metcalf, No. 2 at 182 and Salvador Gilvaja, No. 1 at 195.
Cape Fear principal Lee Spruill is planning a sendoff Saturday morning for the team when it departs the main parking lot at Cape Fear at approximately 11 a.m. He asks that anyone who would like to support the Colt wrestlers to be in the main parking lot at Cape Fear by 10:30 a.m.